July 08, 2022

A critical water source for Zomba and surrounding areas, Malawi

Due to high water demands, influenced by rapid population growth in Malawi’s urban areas the Government of Malawi is investigating the feasibility of constructing a new dam for Zomba City and its surrounding areas to supplement the existing Mulunguzi Dam.

Due to high water demands, influenced by rapid population growth in Malawi’s urban areas the Government of Malawi is investigating the feasibility of constructing a new dam for Zomba City and its surrounding areas to supplement the existing Mulunguzi Dam.

Located in the Eastern Region of Malawi, Zomba City is home to several important national institutions as well as the University of Malawi campus. Current water demand is approximately 80.28 Ml/day, substantially more than the existing supply of approximately 27 Ml/day. This deficiency poses a threat to the social and economic welfare of the Zomba City residents as well as satellite trading centres and villages surrounding Zomba.

The projected shortfall in water supply, prompted the Southern Region Water Board and the Malawi Government to undertake prefeasibility studies for an additional water source to satisfy present and future water demands for water supply and sanitation, irrigation, and fisheries development up to 2060.

To take the project into the next stage, SMEC has been engaged by the Southern Region Water Board of the Government of Malawi to carry out detailed feasibility and subsequent detailed design studies to progress designs for an additional water source at Domasi River.


Caption: Zomba and surrounding region


SMEC’s role and responsibilities includes:

  • Assess multi-use water demands for water supply, irrigation, aquaculture, fisheries, and potential hydropower, up to the year 2060
  • Perform hydrological and water resources yield modelling to assess water availability.
  • Prepare an assessment of the impact of climate change on the sustainability of the water source.
  • Prepare a catchment rehabilitation and protection plan for the water source watersheds.
  • Carry out feasibility study and design of a new water source on Domasi River and the associated infrastructure including intakes, transmission pipelines, pump stations, storage reservoirs, etc.
  • Undertake environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) and resettlement action plan (RAP) studies.
  • Prepare detailed designs, BOQ, technical specifications, and tender documents for the new source development.

Client: Republic of Malawi Southern Region Water Board

Location: Southern Region, Republic of Malawi.

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